Are you more likely to take the toll road when you have EZ-Pass or Fast Lane? Are you more likely to splurge on that steak dinner when you’ve got the plastic credit card to pay with instead of hard-earned cash? Cloud computing is the credit card of the 21st Century - on demand resources, on demand gratification, and worst of all, on demand spending. Typically and traditionally, when companies run their own data center, or manage co-located hardware, they are much more sensitive to changes and new expenses. While cloud computing helps to reduce the overhead involved with upfront expenses and waiting for new hardware to be delivered and deployed, the on-demand aspect of cloud computing can sometimes cause a “Wild Wild West” effect - lots of spending, fairly little auditing, and very little cost control.

In almost every cloud, whether public or private, it’s easy and trivial to spin up new resources and begin to incur costs. While most cloud providers offer out-of-box limits on the amount of resources you can spin up in a single account (usually via limiting the amount of total RAM or the total number of gigabytes you can utilize), often times these limits are easily increased and later ignored all-together. How will you control who can spin up cloud resources this year? Do you have auditing procedures in place? If you’re practicing a DevOps model, is each team or group limited in the amount of resources they can spin up and control?

Happy New Year from Bitlancer - let’s keep those cloud costs under control in 2013. Our next version of Bitlancer Strings will help with cost calculations and cost control, but in the meantime, be careful what you spend and avoid that cloud instance creep.

UPDATE: Bitlancer Strings is now open source. For more information, visit Strings Documentation on Github.